Judge to let charges against police stand in death of Freddie Gray

A circuit judge has refused to dismiss the charges of six police officers in connection to the death of Freddie Grey.  The judge has also denied requests to remove state attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, on the grounds of misconduct.

According to The New York Times, Judge Barry J. Williams was concerned about some things Mosby has said in regards to the trial, but does not feel that her comments “rise to the level where the defendants’ rights to a fair trial have been violated.” This hearing was the first for the six officers  who are connected to the death of Freddie Gray.

Freddie Gray died of a spinal injury a week after his arrest. Mosby asserts that police protocol was not followed, as Gray was wrongfully arrested, loaded into the van without proper restraints, and pleas for medical attention were ignored. It is assumed that the spinal injury occurred during that van ride.

During the hearing, Judge Williams was defensive toward the arguments made against Mosby, citing that she instigated a sort of  “pep rally,” when announcing the charges held against the police officers.  While many see the public announcement as a way to soothe a city that was enduring riots and acts of arson, lawyer Andrew Graham saw the announcement as Mosby’s way of encouraging the cry of ” No Justice, No Peace!”

Lawyers for the officers charged are also requesting for the officers to be tried separately, and to have the trial moved outside of Baltimore, to prevent media bias.  Williams is to consider the first three conditions Wednesday, while the request to move the trial will receive a hearing on September 12.

The driver of the van, Officer Goodson, is being charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, while three other officers are being charged with involuntary manslaughter. The remaining two officers are facing lesser charges, such as second-degree assault.

As the case continues, the city prepares for unrest among the community. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “We’re going to treat a protest like a protest, and a riot like a riot.”

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